1133 days ago
The lady at the vet called during last week and in a very sweet and sympathetic manner said that the ashes of the King of cats, the late Oakley, were ready for collection. And so on Saturday morning I drove to the cat hospital and said who I was and why I was there. "Would you like to settle your account before collecting?" said a mean faced old shrew. It was not a question.
1140 days ago
Amid a flurry of calls on various matters including an invitation to meet the new Headmaster at Warwick School tomorrow to discuss Geoffrey Eve and another abuser from the "good old days" - a matter on which I have received shocking new information overnight- I have received a call from the vets. The ashes of the King of Cats, Oakley, are in an urn and ready for collection.
1145 days ago
Following on from the photos accompanying the obituary earlier this week, the Mrs offers up three more examples of classic Oakley, the King of cats. In the first he is still playful in his final year, in the second he shows his, rightful, contempt for Peppa Pig which engrosses Joshua and Paddington and finally he is simply majestic is he not?
2681 days ago
I have a routine when I go up to London. Stay up until late. Go to bed. Set the alarm for 3.46 AM and that gives me 40 minutes to shower, shave, dress, pack and download from the web all that I need to write offline on the 4.47 AM from Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington. With a bit of luck I will have four or five articles to load when I reach Real Man at 6.45 AM.
2957 days ago
Thanks to Darren I managed to get away early and so avoided the 11.35 drunks express from Paddington. On the 10.15 I thought that I could sleep soundly, manage a new high score on word mole and attend to other matters. What I forgot was that by the time we arrived at Swindon it was 11 PM and that made this the drunks express for those leaving the town that gave us Melinda Messenger.
Hence, at 11, about 15 lads joined our carriage. I say lads, but a couple were older than me and within a few minutes as they shouted loudly in broad West Country accents it was clear that the collective IQ of the 15 was barely into four figures.
To keep themselves entertained they started playing a game “the gauntlet” which seems to involved 14 of them kneeling on their seats looking backwards while the 15th had to run past them. Those kneeling simply had to either hit the runner as hard as possible or to try to rip his underpants down by sticking their hands down his trousers. At the same time they has to shout abuse at the runner. The three most popular shouts were “you gay cunt”, you “fucking lesbian” or “you Leon Britton.” Or was that “you Leon Brittan.” Was it a reference to the Swansea midfielder or the former home secretary about whom so many interesting rumours circulate. I did not feel like asking about this cultural metaphor.
However, the irony of a bunch of men shouting homophobic abuse while try to stick their hands down each other’s trousers was not lost on myself or the small group of fellow passengers.
Occasionally the insults got too much and in our short 45 minutes together we enjoyed two real fights where a couple of the drunks beat the crap out of each other. Apparently this all harked back to a row about a pair of sunglasses lost at Butlins. Whatever.
My back was turned to this spectacle but – like my fellow passengers – I could not help but watch. I felt rather like a Victorian paying to go and watch lunatics humiliate themselves at the asylum, but – feeling a little guilty – I watched anyway. The late night trains to Bristol are a true gin alley
3091 days ago
And so it is off to see the deluded lefties of Sheep Street, my family in Shipston, Warwickshire. It should be an easy enough trip from Paddington to Moreton in the Marsh on the 7.22. But that assumes that First Great Western are remotely competent. Oh no.
At 7.15 we were warned of 20 minutes delays due to “a failure of railside equipment” at Hayes. At 8 PM it was 35 minutes. And so on. It is now 9.24 PM and at least I am now on the train but I doubt, if my taxi driver is still awake at Moreton that I will make it to Sheep Street before midnight. First Great Western I detest you.
And so how to kill almost three hours at Paddington? I have written a couple of pieces which, like this, I shall load on Friday. But by chance I bumped into a well-known bear (who else would you meet at Paddington) and so we enjoyed a drink and a discussion about Quindell (QPP) and Cupid (CUP). I sense things are moving apace on both stocks, both of which – as it happens are represented by foxy PR bird Rebecca S-H. She does know how to pick ‘em.
More on both of those fine upstanding members of the AIM cesspit community to follow.
3160 days ago
It was hectic Friday evening at Real Man Pizza Company. I served up a couple of Linguine Manx dishes which I was really proud of and I left happy, but utterly shattered, after putting in 90 hours in five days. I just managed to catch the 11.30 from Paddington. Of course 30 of those 90 hours I was working for the taxman. That sort of work ethic and work rate just to pay the bills is something the political elite who run all three parties just do not understand and cannot comprehend.
I enjoy my work so do not take this as a grumble. And I am delighted that RMPC is doing well enough that we will hire another member of staff next week. That is another person to generate tax income for our elite to waste. I mean spend.
I know that some folks, notably those employed by a company that failed to make Real Man profitable, laugh at me for running and working in a restaurant but Real Man will, by April, have taken on a net four new employees and two contractors in the first four months of 2013. I regard creating jobs and so generating wealth for the UK and tax revenue for the Government as an honourable thing to do. To be lambasted by wage slaves for having the nerve to risk my capital to do that says more about them and also about the decline of Britain in terms of our attitude to entrepreneurs than it does about me.
Back to the train. I prepared to fall asleep but within five minutes I was roused by the sound of the woman in front of me vomiting copiously in her seat. So drunk was she that she could not make the toilet. She just vomited on herself, the seat in front and the floor and sat there grinning. What are you going to do about it said her grin? I moved again as did other, clearly tired, passengers and tried to sleep.
I awoke suddenly at Bath as a crowd of 40 students joined the train after a night out. That they want to have fun is great but, with no consideration for others, the last fifteen minutes of my journey was to the backdrop of singing, shouting, swearing and just noise. The student opposite slouched so that his legs dug into mine but, after ten pints of Fosters, he did not give a damn.
That I am subsidising the students does not bother me. As a student I was subsidized by others. What goes around comes around. But the utter lack of consideration and manners shown by all sorts of folks today leaves me feeling like Bankrupt Britain is not a land that I want to live in. The 11.30 from Paddington was Hogarth’s Gin Alley.
Of course First Class, where our leaders travel at our expense, was quiet and pleasant. And the idea they they would be on the 11.30 is ludicrous. For the 140 days a year they do “work” the hours are civilised. They have no exposure to hard work or to the stench of vomit and the rudeness of so many of our fellow citizens. They do not create jobs or wealth, they just suck money away from those who do. As an elite as they become ever more cushioned from reality, I become ever more alienated from them.
At 2 PM I finally made it to bed. Today and tomorrow will be light days. Perhaps just five hours work. And on Monday at the crack of dawn the whole circus starts again. That the Westminster elite think that by “presenting policies better” they will “connect with voters” like me is laughable. They are on another planet and Marie Antoinette had more chance of “connecting” with the Parisian mob of 1789 than those in the Westminster bubble have of understanding how real life is for those they are meant to serve.
3167 days ago
A train journey to and from Oxford today saw me visit Paddington where you used to be able to have a quiet smoke in the slipway leading down from the street onto the concourse. That is to say on either side of the slipway. But I see that, at great expense, one side of the (open air) slipway now has now been marked off with enormous “No smoking” signs while on the other side a short stretch of (open) road is a designated smoking zone.
We pariahs are encouraged to use the few ashtrays provided in our “zone” although they were overflowing at 11 AM when I arrived.
As the snow blew into our faces ( the no smoking side was sheltered) a large group huddled together, crammed into one tiny space where we are allowed to pursued our addiction. Since it is all in the open air what health benefit is achieved? At what cost? And to what purpose?
3203 days ago
My normal Friday sees me taking a very late train out to the West of England from Paddington. The 11.30 from Paddington sounds like an Agatha Christie but the novel that springs to mind as I contemplate today’s trip is Murder on the Orient express, when the train gets trapped in the snow half way across Yugoslavia.
Of course we will not see 10 foot snowdrifts in Southern England but it only needs a few inches of global warming to fall and Network Rail throws in the towel. I wonder what is the worst case scenario? To be told at Paddington that there are no trains and to be stranded in the capital? That would be bad enough. The trains are quite warm so getting stuck in a snowdrift would be acceptable. I think my real nightmare is the train stopping at either Didcot or Swindon at 1 AM. Neither station is warm and both are grim.
At least Swindon produced the delightful Melinda Messenger (who is now 41, can you believe it?) and (only until May I pray) is home to Paulo di Canio. None the less a night in its station waiting room is not a prospect I’d relish.
Overall today’s travel fills me with dread.